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Former CitiGroup Exec Gets 2 Years in Prison for Taking Bribes

John Cassisi pleaded guilty to taking at least $500,000 from contracting companies seeking business with the bank.
Image: Citigroup reportedly close to a deal with Justice Department
The Citigroup logo is displayed outside the offices in New York in 2014. JUSTIN LANE / EPA file

A former Citigroup Inc executive and onetime child star was sentenced to up to at least two years in prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to taking at least $500,000 in bribes from contracting companies seeking business with the bank.

John Cassisi, the former director of global construction at the bank's Citi Realty Services unit, was sentenced by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Roger Hayes for his role in a pay-to-play scheme involving New York City's construction industry.

Cassisi, who as a child actor appeared in the 1976 British musical gangster film "Bugsy Malone," was among five individuals and two corporations charged in the case, according to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

His sentence of two-to-four years in prison followed his guilty plea in October to charges of money laundering in the third degree and commercial bribe receiving in the first degree. Cassisi must also forfeit $500,000.

Cassisi's lawyer, Andrew Lawler, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Citigroup did not respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors said that from 2012 to 2014, Cassisi accepted $500,000 in cash or gifts from individuals representing contracting companies seeking to influence his decisions related to awarding contracts.

Those gifts included extravagant hunting trips, including one worth $21,500 in Alaska, and construction services performed at Cassisi's home, prosecutors said.

Others who have pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme include Arthur Fazio, a former senior vice president at Citi; David Adelhardt, the president of Adelhardt Construction Corp; and Edward Welsh Jr, the president of Adco Electrical Corp.

Adelhardt pleaded guilty to falsifying business records in the first degree on Tuesday. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 15 to serve two days a week in prison for one year, a representative for Adelhardt said. His company also pleaded guilty and has agreed to pay $442,000 to Citi.

Welsh pleaded guilty last month to commercial bribing in the second degree and was sentenced to one-year conditional discharge and fined $1,000, while his company must forfeit $500,000.

Fazio pleaded guilty Oct. 16 to one count of falsifying business records in connection with covering up construction services performed at his home. He will be sentenced later this month.

A fifth individual, Mark File, the senior sales executive at Adco, was indicted on Tuesday on charges related to his role in the scheme. A lawyer for File could not be immediately identified.